myths come to life
Paternus: Rise of the Gods
by Dyrk ashton
“A wielder of words is a wielder of power.”―
Dyrk Ashton, Paternus: Rise of the Gods
Described as American Gods meets The Avengers and Supernatural meets The Lord of the Rings, Paternus combines myths from around the world in a modern story of action and intrigue that is “urban fantasy on the surface, but so much more at its core!”
Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth.
When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old man named Peter—and find themselves running for their lives with creatures beyond imagination hounding their every step.
With nowhere else to turn, they seek out Fi’s enigmatic Uncle Edgar. But the more their questions are answered, the more they discover that nothing is what it seems–not Peter, not Edgar, perhaps not even themselves.
The gods and monsters, heroes and villains of lore—they’re real. And now they’ve come out of hiding to hunt their own. In order to survive, Fi and Zeke must join up with powerful allies against an ancient evil that’s been known by many names and feared by all. The final battle of the world’s oldest war has begun.
Paternus: Rise of Gods, is Dyrk Ashton’s critically acclaimed debut novel and the first book in The Paternus Trilogy. It has been compared to works by Neil Gaiman, Scott Hawkins, Roger Zelazny, China Miéville, Joss Whedon, and Kevin Hearne.
Paternus: Rise of the Gods is an Exciting dark urban fantasy that brings you along on a wild mythological ride.
The Paternus series is one I have been hearing a lot about for years. Literally years. Usually, what I am hearing is in the form of gushing and squeeing. “Did you read Paternus? No. OMG you really have to!” Plus, the covers are gorgeous and done by cover artist John Anthony Di Giovanni. They are the kind of covers you want to display in your library and possibly have a print framed in there. Having finished the first book, all I can say to myself, “Why the hell did I wait so long?”
“A wielder of words is a wielder of power.”
The blurb sums up the overall feeling of the first book perfectly, “American Gods meets The Avengers, and Supernatural meets The Lord of the Rings, Paternus combines myths from around the world in a modern story of action and intrigue that is “urban fantasy on the surface, but so much more at its core!” It is a story about myths of legend from cultures throughout the world connected through time and all relating to one individual, The Pater.
“I seem to remember someone very close to me, and wise, or so I thought, once telling me—” “—anything is possible.”
The book starts a bit slowly, it lays solid foundations for the upcoming story, so I didn’t mind the slower pacing. The main protagonists of the story are two older teenagers, Fi and Zeke. Fi and Zeke are in a relationship, and there is come “will they or won’t they” back and forth. Typical stuff that one deals with at that age. Fiona was orphaned at a young age by a plane crash that killed her mother, and as she never knew her father, she now lives with her proper British uncle Edgar his weirdly huge dog Mol. Edgar raised Fiona from a young child, and Fiona looks to him as her father.
Fiona works as an intern at a local are hospital. She has been paying particular attention to an older man named Peter, whom she is drawn to to help. She has a particularly positive effect on him as he is responsive to her but otherwise vegetative. While Zeke is visiting the hospital, it is “attacked by strange and frightening men.” Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco work to save Peter from myths legend. They turn to Fiona’s uncle Edgar for help, and that is where the story gets utterly wild.
“It was twenty-thousand years ago. The last Great Ice covered much of the planet, and the final battle of the Second Magnificent Holocaust raged. She’d sided with Father, of course – she was always Deva, his sister, Devi to the core. Her Truename was Artio, but at the time she was known by the humans as the Vanir giantess Jörd. When Bödvar saw her she was armored in a massive breastplate, with great golden wings on her helmet, spattered with gore – but beautiful.”
First and foremost, I need to compliment Dyrk Ashton for the sheer magnitude of research he put into creating this story. Many mythological figures from all countries and timeframes play parts in Zeke and Fiona’s quest. Some figures, so long-lived, their legends bisect multiple cultures, and contextually, it works perfectly in the story. Ashton lays a solid foundation for all of these characters. As a reader, I went from “Huh?” to “Oh, how cool. Who is going to play a part next?” As for what happens next, and who is a god or legend is spoiler territory. But it gets pretty exciting.
Worldbuilding-wise, there are quite a few information dumps. We have a lot to learn about these characters and their history and connections. It is all-important and valuable information. Usually, I shy away from pages of backstory, but in Paternus, it worked. We need that information as readers. Ashton had me googling with glee.
The narrative starts a little young, as Fiona and Zeke are younger characters. But don’t let that fool you; this is not a YA novel. Paternus: Rise of the Gods is a very adult and often brutal story. There is violence, torture, and fighting that could rival any action movie. Climax-wise, Paternus: Rise of the Gods does not have much of a mini-arc. Instead, it is a huge vibrant story that spans three books and close to 2000 pages. But, the ending of Paternus: Rise of the Gods is satisfying and intensely fun to read and gets you ready to jump into book 2.
Paternus: Rise of the Gods is one of the most unique Urban Fantasy stories I have ever read, and I have read quite a few. The series has a solid place in my top ten favorite series of all time. Even with a slow start, this is still a solid five-star read for me. Screw American Gods, Paternus: Rise of the Gods is my mythological urban fantasy of choice.
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Elizabeth Tabler runs Beforewegoblog and is constantly immersed in fantasy stories. She was at one time an architect but divides her time now between her family in Portland, Oregon, and as many book worlds as she can get her hands on. She is also a huge fan of Self Published fantasy and is on Team Qwillery as a judge for SPFBO5. You will find her with a coffee in one hand and her iPad in the other. Find her on: Goodreads / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter